We’ve released press releases in the past but today marks the day we release our first hands-on coverage of EnGenius networking products. In this review we showcase the EnGenius ECW120 wireless access point, and the ECS1008P 8-port PoE switch. Both are part of an extensive, feature-rich assortment of networking products EnGenius has to offer. A large focus point of this review revolves around their cloud software management solution which allows you to customize your gear for access, security, and performance.
We, admittedly, reviewed some of their more entry level products which honestly says a lot. I expected acceptable performance, but nothing insane. The ECW120 access point is a sub $200 PoE wireless-AC access point. The performance, though not as fast as a wireless AX solution, was excellent. The range exceeded my 8-antenna Asus ROG Wireless AX router’s output, which caused my iPhone to constantly prefer the EnGenius network over my Asus one. I think that says a lot considering how sleek and compact this access point is. My average download and upload speeds floated around 200 mbps (even at 50+ feet away) which is expected for a good performing AC network, with range easily touching the end of my driveway and back yard. This is all with a single access point and without leveraging mesh networking, something EnGenius makes easily configurable in their cloud management portal.
In many cases, PoE network switches have fans inside to keep the chassis cool. If you do not need too many PoE ports, I usually recommend a smaller 8 port PoE switch like the ECS1008P because it’s fanless, yet still supports up to 7 access points (55w output budget). Fanless is amazing because it keeps your networking setup silent. 24-48 port standard switches (non-PoE) can be fanless as well and will handle your local network needs, while the PoE switch handles your APs. Put this all together and you have an incredibly robust and quiet platform. This allows you to place the network in many more locations where noise may be a concern, giving you ultimate flexibility. Even though this switch isn’t rack mountable, the heavy weight (for its size) and included rubber feet should keep it steady on a rack shelf. Key-slots on the underside of the chassis also allow sleek wall mounting capability if your setup requires it. Lastly, this 8 port switch has a 16 Gbps switchplane, allowing full duplex speeds on every port simultaneously.
The EnGenius cloud management portal is incredible robust and intuitive to use. I like it more than Ubiquiti’s and Zyxel’s offering, though all three are certainly usable once you get used to the layout. For a first time cloud network setup, the Engenius platform is easier to quickly understand and get going. It’s an amazing feat considering how robust and configurable the platform is. There’s simply too much to convey in writing regarding what the cloud management portal can do, so I suggest checking out the video above, as we cover this in great deal.
The goal of this review was intended to not focus too much on just a couple products from EnGenius. Instead, I want our readers and viewers to be exposed to this brand as a legitimately good networking solution in a reasonable price point. EnGenius makes a lot of different products that cater to different needs, so I suggest checking out their site to learn more. The only missing piece from them is a security gateway/router capability which is unfortunate. Perhaps this will come down the road, but for now you’ll need to plan on managing your gateway on a different platform.